Perhaps the first question should be “Why?” Why transport a critical apparatus heavily laden with paradoxical factions and conflicting terminology back a millennium to the Chinese genre known as cbuana? And why a genre study, when so much groundwork is still necessary before Chinese literature can begin to demand for itself a larger consideration in general contemporary literary criticism? To attend to the second query first, genre studies are essential now for two reasons: 1) because genres evolve much more readily than their designations, and 2) because they are so basic to a reader's (and thus a critic's) approach to a work. Misunderstandings of the diachronic changes of what a generic title may include have led to useless critiques, the most notable case being perhaps that of Henry James and Fielding. In reply to the question of why a structural approach, the answer is less definitive.

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